Final phase begins on east portion of Detroit riverfront project

Michigan, Detroit leaders applaud partnership for bringing riverfront project to fruition

DETROIT -

For more than 300 years, the Detroit River has served as a waterway for commercial transportation.

On Monday, ground was broken on the final phase of construction for the east Detroit riverfront. It will be bringing traffic of a different kind to the area.

The completion of construction along the east Detroit riverfront will include a complete redevelopment of Mount Elliott Park, including shoreline improvement, a new plaza, pavilion, water access, playscapes and more.

Images: Detroit riverfront east project

The project is expected to be done in the next 12 to 18 months. With all the planned amenities appealing to families, many question the riverfront's safety.

"It's so well lit and there are so many families, and its so well attended, that it would deter folks who wouldn't act their best," said Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh.

State, federal funding helps Detroit riverfront project

Additional funding for the project was announced Monday by the Michigan Department of Transportation. MDOT said $29 million in federal transportation money and a $15 million investment by the Michigan Natural Resources trust fund was donated to sustain operation and maintenance.

"They come down here and realize this could not be built (without help)," said Sen. Carl Levin. "It is truly a great partnership."

The private-public partnerships have made the revitalization possible.

Read more: Work along Detroit River getting $44M boost

"It reconnects a lot of the organization that for years and years were disconnected," said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. "So, now that everyone is working together to not only finish the east portion, now we can concentrate on the west."

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder echoed Bing's comments to this partnership.

Images: Detroit RiverWalk gets $44M boost

"Well, the best way to do things is to do them together," Snyder said. "This is truly a project where everyone wins."

Even though the east portion of the Detroit riverfront project is in its final stages of construction, the ultimate goal of this project is to stretch this beautiful riverfront from bridge to bridge. The west still needs work.

Anyone who wants to help fund the project can go to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy's website.

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